Feet & legs, Generalities

Feet & Legs

Generalities

Anatomy of feet

The bones

The foot is an extension of the leg and we can distinguish three groups of bones which form its skeleton: the tarsals, metatarsals and phalanges. The ankle is formed by seven bones. The talus articulates with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint, whilst the calcaneus, the largest of the tarsal bones, disperses a great deal of the weight on to the ground. the other bones articulate with each other and the metatarsal bones to help form the arches.

Bones of the lower leg
  1. Tibia
  2. Fíbula
Bones of the foot
  1. Tarsals
  2. Metatarsals
  3. Phalanges

Muscles and tendons of the foot

The foot has a complex system of muscles and tendons which allow precise movements. There are extensor muscles, flexor muscles and abductors. The flexing muscles are found under the foot and stretching muscles on the top. Muscles in the lower leg with tendons that extend over the ankle joint and into the foot are responsible for the powerful movements of ankles and feet. They also help maintain the balance of the body and support the arches.

Circulation and nerves

The foot has an abundant supply of blood due to the two principal arteries, anterior tibial and the posterior tibial, which branches near the knee to form the peroneal artery. Like the hands, the feet are supplied with motor, sensory and autonomic nerve fibres.